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April 07, 2004

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Comments

UCL

This story had me rolling on the floor!

It takes courage to openly talk about an experience like this. You might've looked bad at the time, but everyone knows that it wasn't your fault, and that they did the exact same thing the first time THEY deposed someone.

I am disappointed (in our profession) that you didn't have a single one of the other defense counsel stick up for you. During my first few depositions, I got jammed up a few times and other counsel (including plaintiff's counsel one time) always jumped in to help me out and save me from looking stupid.

Beldar

Great war story, Evan!

Connie

This story is a fake. The other attorneys (apparently partners according to your telling) didn't know that this was a records deposition? Senior attorneys attending a deposition without looking at the Notice of Deposition (which would have indicated the nature of the proceeding)? Apparently they attended a deposition without knowing the nature of it or even preparing for it? Nope, I'm not buying it...

Evan

Connie: You are welcome to your opinion, of course, but in my part of the country, a deposition notice does not have to indicate the "nature" of the deposition, except to say it's going to be a deposition. No reason to clue the other side in too soon, you see! So all deposition notices, no matter what will actually occur at the deposition, are generally titled only "Notice of Deposition." (An exception would be for a "corporate designee" deposition, in which the actual topics that will be covered must be listed.)

If you're going to try to label me a fake, there are probably other aspects of the story upon which you could hang your hat: my utter stupidity, for one. Could any lawyer who graduated magna cum laude and was the managing editor of the law review really be so stupid? In my case, I say, though with great regret, yes.

Stephen M

This story is a fake. The other attorneys (apparently partners according to your telling) didn't know that this was a records deposition? Senior attorneys attending a deposition without looking at the Notice of Deposition (which would have indicated the nature of the proceeding)? Apparently they attended a deposition without knowing the nature of it or even preparing for it? Nope, I'm not buying it...

I can't see why the other attorneys would have any reason to suspect that someone was using a deposition just for the records when they could have handled the entire thing with a records service.

Makes perfect sense to me as a hazing ritual.

But then I've been litigating for about twenty years ...

And, if I found myself trapped in one of these (heck, when I have found myself trapped in one of these), I'd interrupt, ask if everyone could just stipulate to the records and gotten on down the road or just taken over and handled the questions properly.

practical paralegal

Hey, what happened to your trusty paralegal? That person should have pulled the docs for you and could have suggested some questions to ask as well. You could have taken your paralegal along with you to the deposition to handle the documents, etc. For some young lawyers, using a paralegal as a second chair at depositions and hearings is less intimidating that taking a more experienced attorney.

I can't speak for other paralegals, but taking care of young lawyers just makes good sense to me. You guys have a bad habit of growing up to be senior partners, you know!

Michael

Evan,

I enjoyed your essay on hazing. I'm not an attorney. Whew! However, I'm involved in the initial phase of a MedMal suit as the plaintiff. As good as my J.D. is I know the ins & outs of this case far better, specifically the medical issues. Is there a general prohibition to my sitting second chair, questioning the defendant(s) during the deposition?

I posit this question because I studied medicine for two years before withdrawing.

You might suggest that I proffer questions to my J.D. during the deposition but I don't want to give the opposition a chance to rally while I make the suggestions.

Best,

Michael

Sonia Vivar

I am not an attorney, just a simple hardworking citizen facing my first deposition alone.

I had an attorney, or I should say, I have an attorney IF, I recover any money.

The day before my deposition in which I am the Plaintiff, my attorney called with good news. He had gotten me an offer of $3,000.00 on a case I had already won thru the Labor Board against Seccion Amarilla (google "seccion amarilla complaints) for unpaid commissions. My award was for $43, 680.00, but was appealed.

Seccion Amarilla which is owned by Carlos Slim, the richest man, according to Forbes, hired the Law firm of Mayer Brown for the appeal. My attorney which I will name Frick & Frack, abandoned ship when I refused the $3,000.00 settlement and left me to fend for myself, claiming I had a weak case and was lucky to get this money.

I should ask for time to find another suit to represent me, but after 2 years of nothing, I felt, I have nothing to lose. What I will gain may be more valuable than what money can buy, an insight into how wonderful it is to be able to manipulate the Law, if you have money and a GOOD attorney.

I hope to update you later with my horror story on my first deposition, that I think my out top, my gracious host.

Just call me David...as in Daid and Goliath =D

biker364

I am glad to hear that attorneys are also as nervous as the people who they are talking to when they are at their first deposition. I am not an attorney, but, I was at a deposition yesterday, and it was AWFUL. The lawyer kept talking in circles, jumping from one thing to another, then back again. She was miserable, throwing insults my way, and my attorney just sat there!! She even made me cry as she spoke of my dead grandma. (what does my dead grama have to do with a car accident years after she died?) I am happy to know, that I am not the first, or the last person to be nervous during one of these.

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